For the first time, LMU scientists have demonstrated that nerve signals are exchanged between arteries and the brain in atherosclerosis.
Laboratoriies around the world are conducting research into the disease Atherosclerosis. However, their focus is on cholesterol, fibrous tissue, and immune cells that form on the inner layer of arteries. These plaques gradually restrict the lumen of the arteries, thus that less oxygen can get to the body tissue. Heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral occlusive disease (smokers leg) are among the common problems.
No one has asked whether or not atherosclerotic plaques are innervated in recent decades, according to Dr. Sarajo K. Mohanta from the LMU Institute for Cardiovascular Prevention. However, it''s precisely such a connection that he has now managed to demonstrate together withProfessor Andreas Habenicht, who is currently director of the LMU University, and an international team. Crucial results were obtained by Professor Daniela Carnevale and Professor Giuseppe Lembo from the Department of An
InNature, the researchers discuss signals that are sent from the arteries containing plaques via nerves to the brain. After processing of signals in the brain has taken place, signals make their way back to the blood vessel.
A completely new understanding of atherosclerosis
According to Habenicht, the inner layer of the arteries is composed of three components, one outer layer, a middle layer, and another inner layer. Plaques are discovered in the inner layer. This is not the case of nerve fibers. As such, it did not occur to anyone to investigate whether the peripheral nervous system is in contact with arteries in the event of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is more than a plaque, but it is a chronic inflammatory illness of the entire artery, according to Mohanta, the doctor who was responsible for the project.
The peripheral nervous system responds to such inflammation. Habenichts discovered that molecular sensors known as receptors play a key role. They then recognize where plaques are located and where vessels are inflamed by identifying the inflammatory messengers of the inflammation. This also negatively affects the inflammation, and the atherosclerosis worsens.
Possible long-term solutions for atherosclerosis causes
Carnevale defined the electrical connection between the arteries and the brain in an animal experiment. Eight months later, she compared mice with those who had not received this procedure. Atherosclerosis was in fact less developed than in the control mice, according to Mohanta. In the long term, we anticipate to be finally able to deal with the consequences of it.
The scientists are hoping to investigate how exactly the peripheral nervous system is organized and how other receptors play. There are also many indications that the brain''s interface with diseased blood vessels is regulated by stress. Accordingly, Habenicht is planning to investigate neurobiological aspects: Which cells in the brain are responding to signals from diseased blood vessels? How many regions of the brain are these cells linked in turn?